Reps probe expired drugs at Lagos hospital

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) yesterday resolved to unravel allegations of financial impropriety leveled against the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

Consequently, Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, had been mandated by the PAC Chairman, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, to join select members of the PAC to investigate and report back in three weeks.

One of the allegations, according to Office of Auditor-General of the Federation, in a query to the House, was the alleged destruction of 86 different types of drugs costing N406, 103.90, said to have expired in 2011.

The committee was to also investigate the controversial offsetting of medical bills in the hospital, totalling N638, 380. Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, who disclosed this at yesterday’s sitting of the committee, said there was need to carry out status inquiries of the current situation by the hospital authorities, beyond the oral and written evidences that had been given.

Members of the committee were angry that based on non-availability of report on the destruction of the expired drugs as claimed, the drugs may not have been discarded, but still in circulation.

They were also worried at the hospital authority’s claim that the medical bills of the patients were actually offset at the time the query was alleging manipulative tendencies in the action of the hospital. In his defence, Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Olurotimi Odunubi, said regarding the expired drugs, that the drugs had already been destroyed.

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